Meet the 2019 SHAPE America Impact Schools

On October 22, SHAPE America and Gopher kicked off the 2nd annual Big Feats Virtual Race, a six-week physical activity challenge designed to engage students, parents, teachers and the community while raising money for the 2019 SHAPE America Impact Schools.

Eighty percent of the funds raised by the Big Feats Virtual Race will be allocated to these five Title I schools, which were selected through the SHAPE America Impact Schools Grant program.

Meet our 2019 SHAPE America Impact Schools and learn how this funding will make a difference for their students!

Albert Einstein Academy — North Olmsted, OH

Grades K-12
344 students: 42% receive free/reduced lunch

Albert Einstein Academy teachers and students

“I think my school’s biggest need is having enough equipment in physical education classes. I have very little equipment and what we do have is a limited variety to use for my classes. We don’t have enough for each student to participate at the same time. Also, a lot of the time the equipment isn’t the right size for the classes — such as hockey sticks that aren’t big enough for high school students or basketballs that aren’t small enough for elementary students.”

Carl Sandburg School — Freeport, IL 

Grades 5-6
600 students: 100% qualify for free/reduced lunch

Carl Sandburg School teacher and students

“Our PE program works on an extremely limited budget — which is spent at the beginning of the year replacing what equipment we can. With close to 600 students, it’s rare that even the highest quality equipment survives an entire school year. It’s not uncommon to have only a quarter of what we started the year with still in a usable condition by May! We’re excited to have the opportunity to use this funding to purchase new equipment — ideally technology (like heart-rate monitors!) — instead of being limited to replacing the basics.”

Dr. Reynaldo J. Carreon Jr. Academy — Indio, CA

Grades K-5
674 students: 90% qualify for free/reduced lunch

Dr. Reynaldo J. Carreon Jr. Academy teachers and students

“Last year, each elementary school in Desert Sands Unified School District received Gopher’s SPARK K-6 curriculum and training. The curriculum is the “what to teach” and the professional development is the “how to teach,” but equipment — or “tools you need to teach” — is the third important piece to each SPARK curriculum program and a key to any successful integration in PE.  With this grant, our students will have access to the equipment needed to integrate into this PE program.”

Jerome D. Mack Middle School – Las Vegas, NV 

Grades 6-8
1,200 students: 95% qualify for free/reduced lunch

Jerome D. Mack Middle School teacher and students

“Our students need to learn how to exercise and be active. This grant money will help us offer incentives and rewards like basketballs, footballs, jump ropes and water bottles to students who otherwise can’t afford them. We have after-school activities that need new equipment so students won’t have a reason not to participate. The new CrossFit program offered at the school has limited equipment, but with the grant money we can purchase more equipment, which means more participation during class.” 

Thomas County Middle School — Thomasville, GA

Grades 5-8
1,821 students: 100% qualify for free/reduced lunch

Thomas County Middle School students

“Our kids have not been exposed to many sports and recreational activities outside of the Southeast (football, anyone?) and our PE closet is full of old and worn equipment. We want to use the grant money to bring in equipment for sports and activities from other cultures to expose our kids to life outside of South Georgia and to get them up and moving as a lifestyle!”

Join the Virtual Race to Support the SHAPE America Impact Schools

This fall join Big Feats Virtual Race participants across the country as we raise money while staying fit! Set your own movement and/or distance goals and complete the race on your own time, at your own pace.

The virtual race ends on December 3, which is Giving Tuesday. We hope you’ll join us!

Additional Resources


Larissa Kulczycky
Larissa Kulczycky

Larissa Kulczycky is managing editor of the SHAPE America blog, Momentum magazine, and Et Cetera email newsletter. She can be reached at lkulczycky@shapeamerica.org.